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Journal of the International Association for Semiotic Studies / Revue de l'Association Internationale de Sémiotique

Editor-in-Chief: Danesi, Marcel

5 Issues per year

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2014: 0.317
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2014: 0.738
Impact per Publication (IPP) 2014: 0.262

ERIH category 2011: INT2



The dimensionality of notation

Humphrey van Polanen Petel

Citation Information: Semiotica. Volume 2005, Issue 157, Pages 187–197, ISSN (Online) 1613-3692, ISSN (Print) 0037-1998, DOI: 10.1515/semi.2005.2005.157.1-4.187, October 2005

Publication History

Published Online:


Elements of notation are variables and sentences are sequences of different variables. Both listening and reading are processes, which makes a sentence a stream of variations of a single variable. Thus, a simple sentence is a one-dimensional object, measured along the stream of variation. A sentence with coordinated or subordinated material effectively encodes multiple streams which makes a complex sentence a two-dimensional object with that second dimension measured across the multiple streams. A single symbol does not vary and is therefore a zero-dimensional object. Processes exist in time and the dimensions of notation are therefore abstract dimensions.

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